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cesarpinto1989
Community Member

I'm saving money to hire a writer and I need suggestions

Hi there! So I'm doing some savings so I can make an independent film next year, and I've been want to hire a script writer so he can write my idea on a 90 page script. The thing is that I've never hired someone with this requierement, like, how much would it be for a freelancer to make something like this? Any other suggestion or tip to make a good hiring is appreciated!

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prestonhunter
Community Member

How much would it cost to hire an Upwork freelancer to write a 90-page film script?

 

It depends on who you hire.

 

As a client, I have actually hired film script writers on Upwork.

 

But it was for much shorter scripts than that. I'll look up what I paid...

 

But what I paid to script writers is not very meaningful.

You're talking about creative work... And the prices are going to vary widely. It's not like buying wholesale corn.

 

You might find somebody to do this for $500.

Other people might charge $50,000 or more.

 

------

I looked up the contracts where I hired film script writers to write a 1-minute script.

 

In August 2015 I paid one Upwork writer (from California) $83.33.
I paid another Upwork writer (from Utah) $75.00.

 

These were both fixed-price contracts.

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16 REPLIES 16
prestonhunter
Community Member

How much would it cost to hire an Upwork freelancer to write a 90-page film script?

 

It depends on who you hire.

 

As a client, I have actually hired film script writers on Upwork.

 

But it was for much shorter scripts than that. I'll look up what I paid...

 

But what I paid to script writers is not very meaningful.

You're talking about creative work... And the prices are going to vary widely. It's not like buying wholesale corn.

 

You might find somebody to do this for $500.

Other people might charge $50,000 or more.

 

------

I looked up the contracts where I hired film script writers to write a 1-minute script.

 

In August 2015 I paid one Upwork writer (from California) $83.33.
I paid another Upwork writer (from Utah) $75.00.

 

These were both fixed-price contracts.


Preston H wrote:

 

As a client, I have actually hired film script writers on Upwork.


you did not.

not to write a film script, anyway.

 

re: "you did not"

 

I'm not sure what you mean.

 

Both scripts have been in my public Upwork portfolio for a few years now.

 

You are welcome to download them and read them. Here are the item titles:

Script: A Passion for Organization
Script: Who Wants to Hire a Database Designer?

 

I have a co-author credit on the scripts because I came up with the basic plots. The writers I hired wrote the actual scripts. So it's similar to the original poster's situation, except for a much different length.


Preston H wrote:

re: "you did not"

 

I'm not sure what you mean..


you hiring people to create your portfolio items for you is hardly the same as someone wanting to hire people to create a film.

 

 

re: "...is hardly the same as someone wanting to hire people to create a film"

 

The original poster was only asking about how much it might cost him to hire somebody to write a script based on his plot ideas. I shared my experience doing so, along with the prices I paid.


He wasn't asking about hiring people to make the actual film. He may have no intention whatsoever of using Upwork for that. Upwork is not going to be the best resource for that, anyway. To actually film a script, you will need local talent, and there are many resources that specialize in that in ways that Upwork can't match.

a_lipsey
Community Member


Petra R wrote:

Preston H wrote:

re: "you did not"

 

I'm not sure what you mean..


you hiring people to create your portfolio items for you is hardly the same as someone wanting to hire people to create a film.

 

 


This, and a non-fiction script is completely different than a fiction script. One minute is also a few pages, while 90 pages is substantially different. I didn't look at your scripts, but the titles sound more like tutorial presentations, which is vastly different than even documentary script writing. 

re: "and a non-fiction script is completely different than a fiction script"

 

I'm not sure why you think that the original poster's script is fiction. And I'm not sure why you think my scripts are non-fiction. But you make a very good point that these are different types of film script writing. I wouldn't be able to tell you what difference that would make on the cost. It would probably depend on the writer.

 

re: "I didn't look at your scripts..."

 

You can download them and read them. Let me know what you think. But only using PM, or a different thread, please. I don't want to totally hijack this thread.

 

re: "....titles sound more like tutorial presentations, which is vastly different than even documentary script writing."

 

Ahh... Then you're in for a surprise.

 

(Although I fear this discussion about my scripts is hijacking the thread. Which was not my intention. Does anybody else have any experience hiring script writers on Upwork?)

cesarpinto1989
Community Member

Ok... so I'm not searching for no crew or anything like that, I have a summary of an idea that I have, with plot twist, several scenes written, characters, ending, etc... But, I want to know how much should I pay for a writer who can take everything and fully turn it into a Script for an independent film that I want to do in the future. And as well, what else should I consider before hiring one? Because I've never hire one and I don´t know what to look for besides his portfolio. Thanks!

Cesar:

To be completely honest, I don't know how much practical information you are going to be able to get in this Forum if you're talking about hiring a script writer to write a full-length fictional film.

 

There may not be anybody here who has actually hired anyone to do that.

 

But what I do know is that there ARE freelance writers on Upwork who offer that service.

 

I also know that the script for a film like that is tremendously important. No matter what you do later in the filmmaking process, if you don't have a great script... well, there's probably no way to rescue the film from a bad script, no matter how talented the other people are.

 

There are probably people you can hire on Upwork who would write a 90-page script for a relatively low cost. But would that cost be worth it? What would the quality be? Would it be worth filming?

 

If you take the LOWEST amount that I paid for my scripts - $75 for 1 minute, and you multiply that by 90 minutes, then you come up with a price of $6750.

 

Would you need to pay that much for a 90-minute script?

Would there be an economy of scale?

Or should a 90-minute script cost even more than that?

 

Can what I paid even apply at all? In terms of quality, my scripts were written to be used for schlock promotional films. I'm sure that's not what you want.

 

If you're really serious about making a good film, and you're serious about hiring script writers on Upwork, then maybe the best advice I could give you would be to HIRE MORE THAN ONE PERSON.

 

Hire a few people to write only a single scene for you. And compare their work. Then continue working with the writer or writers who you feel are providing you with the quality of work you want, at the price you can afford.

Cesar, I recommend you go over to the Writers and Translators forum and pose your question, you are not getting anything useful here.

 

In your shoes, I would ask the following: how to find a qualified screenwriter to turn your idea into a film script (what questions to ask candidates, what to look for in their portfolios, etc.); how much you should expect to pay; how to scope the project in a way that you will attract quality FLs.

Thanks for that answer, I will open another discussion later with your suggestions.

researchediting
Community Member

You should be able to search for screenwriters on Upwork to see what their rates and project histories are.

Cesar,  I just wrote you a mini-script in your own thread as per  Phyllis's suggestion.  Here you go:

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Writers-Translators/For-Cesar/m-p/645705#M5784

If you can get permission from Upwork and all thread participants to use this material, you could turn this very thread into a compelling short film.


Preston H wrote:

If you can get permission from Upwork and all thread participants to use this material, you could turn this very thread into a compelling short film.


My suggestion for playing the part of Preston: Steve Carell.

 

ETA

Starring...

Preston.....Steve Carell

Cesar..... George Clooney 

Petra....Anna Friel

Amanda..... Scarlett Johansson

Douglas Michael..... Michael Douglas

Phyllis, Wendy, Richard..... not yet cast


Richard W wrote:

Preston H wrote:

If you can get permission from Upwork and all thread participants to use this material, you could turn this very thread into a compelling short film.


My suggestion for playing the part of Preston: Steve Carell.

 

ETA

Starring...

Preston.....Steve Carell

Cesar..... George Clooney 

Petra....Anna Friel

Amanda..... Scarlett Johansson

Douglas Michael..... Michael Douglas

Phyllis, Wendy, Richard..... not yet cast


Seriously, that you cast Scarlett Johansson as me just made  my LIFE. 

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